Italian police feed homeless counterfeit caviar
Homelessness is a pressing issue here in North America, especially when cold weather strikes. And while for most North Americans helping homeless people usually means donating blankets, warm clothes and non-perishable food items, Italians have tried to introduce a little more luxury to the Christmas dinner table of the homeless. Police in Italy are feeding homeless gourmet beluga caviar that was confiscated from poachers trying to smuggle the caviar from Poland to Italy.
Italian police seized over 40 kg (88 lb) of the delicacy, worth some 400,000 euros ($558,300), from two men who last month smuggled it into the country from Poland for sale in the shops of Milan and the rest of the wealthy Lombardy region.
The head of the local forest police who carried out the raid kept the bounty in barrack fridges for several weeks, but realized it would soon go bad.
"Tests showed us the food was still perfectly OK to eat but it couldn't be stored much longer, so we decided to give it to the poor," Juri Mantegazza told Milan daily Corriere della Sera.
A small amount of the sturgeons' eggs have been kept for further analysis while the rest has been sent to voluntary associations, charity kitchens and old people's homes.
"Everything that comes our way is very welcome, even though most of our guests don't even know what those little black balls are," said Virginio Colmega, a priest who helps run the House of Charity in Milan.